Interview: Toronto's The Muso Project
If you are looking for a laid back, grooving to the oldies kind of soulful jam then I strongly suggest you check out this next band. Not only have they been in the scene for 5 years giving them tons of experience but with the addition of some talented key, bass and drum players they have got a unique sound that will get your toes tapping and your head bobbin’. The Muso Project started as a duo back in 2008 with Rachenne Regozo and Edward Monzon, now a larger group with Charles Collymore on Bass, Ben Healey on drums and Kierscey Rand on keys, their sound has gotten even better. Recently on RogersTV Toronto Sessions I sat down with the band to get their take on that experience and talk about their most embarrassing moments on stage and what’s to come from The Muso Project in the future.
You were recently on RogersTV Toronto Sessions, how was that experience?
Edward: That was pretty cool; the experience is seeing yourself in HD. One reason I think we were contacted is the caliber of work we’ve been doing. Not only do you have great song writing and good musicianship but you have Charles, Ben, Kierscey, that make it all come together. They’re like butter.
Who were your biggest influences growing up?
Charles: I guess starting off I’d have to be Barry White, being my very first bass influence and how his tone affected the music. I wasn’t very confident in singing until now, so I wanted to portray that same feeling that bass brings to music, so I guess Barry White, Motown stuff. Then I grew into gospel, then fusion and R&B, basically everything that sounds good.
Ben: Initially I grew up on classic rock because of my parents; it was a lot of Brit rock stuff like Elton John, Led Zeppelin The Who, The Beatles, then it became more Motown type of music. Funk, jazz, I did a lot of jazz stuff growing up in school. I’d say mostly though rock and now R&B, a really big influence.
Kierscey: I think the only guy that stuck with me from the beginning was Stevie Wonder, cause all I learned growing up was every Stevie song and kind of just by ear like learning how he sings with what he composes. Growing up in high school I learned every hip-hop song that was on the piano, for some reason whenever I dropped that in high school people would just go nuts.
Edward: Musically, Jimi Hendrix was a big influence on me just to get interested in music, but as I started being around artists, I got more interested in Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughn, a lot of big guitar players. John Mayer to be more up to date, he influenced a lot of my songwriting, where it was like; oh I gotta write like this. I don’t want to be exactly like him but I wanted to use him to tailor a lot of my style.
Rachenne: I’m primarily a singer and grew up that way, I think probably Lauryn Hill. I tried to copy her a lot. I had a lot of runs like her, and I tried to emulate the power in her voice. More recently I’ve been into a lot of Tweet, and Amy Winehouse. I really like that style.
What is the funniest/weirdest thing that has every happened to you guys on stage or during a gig?
Edward: One of my first gigs, I played a lot of John Mayer songs, and at that time John Mayer was very big, a lot of the young girls liked John Mayer. None of the girls knew that Rachenne and I were dating. So after the gig all these girls surrounded me and were telling me how good I was and I sound just like john Mayer. They looked over at Rachenne and asked: ‘oh who’s this is she your cousin’. And I said no she’s my girlfriend. The entire room just let out the sigh of ohh’s and they all walked away. You could see they were crushed by what I told them, I found that pretty funny.
Kierscey: Okay there was this one time because K’Naan, he really likes to mess with people when he introduces the band. There is always a part when every member of the band is cringing their teeth because he’ll sometimes literally just make up a story about that person. But there was this one time he was introducing me and he said “On keyboard I have my friend for a long time this is Bruno Mars!!!” and I was like wah Bruno, but then I was like wait. Half the people started clapping and looked at me and it turned into an awkward slow clap. In the end I was like damn why k'naan!
*kierscey plays keys for K’Naan